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Computer systems improve for area libraries

Libraries in the Northwest Corner towns of Cornwall, Kent, Norfolk, Salisbury and Sharon were closed May 29 and 30 for migration to a new circulation, catalog and checkout computer operating system. The new program was installed on existing computers. The Douglas Library in North Canaan and the Hunt Memorial Library in Falls Village began beta testing the new software in February 2011. Erica Joncyk, director of the Hunt Library, reported the new system is a big improvement and works well.According to Louise Manteuffel, director of the Hotchkiss Library of Sharon, “All seven libraries will be electronically joined into a group known as the Bibliomation Consortium.”Claudia Cayne, library director at the Scoville Library in Salisbury, said, “The new software will make life much easier both for library employees and patrons. Overall it will be more user friendly for everyone.”With the new system, librarians will be able to quickly locate titles at any of the seven libraries. It will also enable libraries to have better control of books on loan to patrons and track overdue books and fines. Library patrons will have new options to enhance their library usage experience. Patrons will be able to log into the program on a “your eyes only” basis to see which books they have checked out and what fines they may owe. They will also be able to establish electronic “Book Bags” on the system to keep lists of books, by category, they have read or want to read. Other enhancements include the ability to renew borrowed items online, place holds on books online and have notices of books on hold and overdue fines emailed to patrons.With traditionally light usage, the libraries selected the Memorial Day holiday weekend to close for the installation of the new program. When they reopened for business on Tuesday, May 31, the new system was installed and ready for immediate use.

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